TaxWatch: Democrats release Trump’s tax returns, and CPAs weigh in: ‘In order to generate these kinds of losses, you need to be super rich. It’s not a poor man’s game.’

by | Dec 30, 2022 | Stock Market

Democrats released six years of Donald Trump’s income-tax returns on Friday, providing further insight into the former president’s tax situation. Trump and his wife, Melania, paid $0 in income taxes for 2020, according to a report released late Tuesday by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.  The nonpartisan committee’s findings also raised several red flags related to the filings, namely Trump’s carryover losses, loans to his children that may or may not also be considered taxable gifts, and deduction-related tax write-offs. 

That year, as the COVID pandemic hit, the Trumps reported a loss of $4.8 million. For 2018 and 2019, the then-president’s reported income increased and they paid approximately $1.1 million in federal taxes each year.   The Internal Revenue Service only started to audit Trump’s 2015 tax filings on April 3, 2019, more than two years into his presidency, which some commentators say is a sign of the strained resources at the IRS.  “Just like every other American, the President of the United States is obligated to pay taxes owed,” reads an internal IRS memo from earlier this month. “This is a core responsibility of our common citizenship: without tax revenue, our government would cease to exist.” In a statement released Friday by the Trump campaign, the former president said his returns show “how proudly successful I have been.” The U.S. tax code, experts say, cuts both ways. “The government intentionally makes laws that have two objectives,” said Charles Renwick, a CPA and author of the forthcoming book “All the Presidents’ Taxes.” “One is to raise money and the other objective is to incentivize behavior. Real-estate investing is clearly incentivized by the tax code.” People who lose money and therefore have no income pay …

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